Perez: A Double podium would have been great

Perez: A Double podium would've been great

Sergio Perez’s second place in the 2022 Australian Grand Prix saved the day for Red Bull, but the Mexican lamented Max Verstappen’s DNF, admitting a double podium would have been great for the team.

The Mexican stepped up and salvaged the day for Red Bull, as the team lost Max Verstappen to another reliability problem with the fast but fragile RB18.

With the 2021 Formula 1 Champion out of the race, Perez was the one doing the team’s bidding, and did well to take second behind the unstoppable Charles Leclerc who won the race for Ferrari.

Perez said the team’s post race briefing: “It was a good result but, unfortunately, we lost Max and it would have been great to have a double podium for the Team.

“On the other hand, it is a good result after so many unlucky moments in the first couple of races for me. It was a very complicated race with the start I had and the safety cars but we managed to overcome it.

“My first start was very poor, we struggled a lot with degradation on the medium tyre, we were a bit unlucky with the safety car and we lost two positions which we recovered later. We got a few things wrong across the weekend and we were battling more with Mercedes than Ferrari so the pace wasn’t where we want it to be, but we will work on it,” Perez explained.

Ferrari are the fastest guys out there

“There is some good analysis to be done from this weekend because yesterday we were close for pole but in the race we were a bit too far off the pace. The fastest guys out there are Ferrari, we want to be up there fighting with them and today that wasn’t the case.

“If we can improve the car a little, then we can be more confident,” the veteran of 216 Grands Prix concluded.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner hailed the job Perez did in the cockpit on Sunday in Melbourne, saying: “Checo drove an exceptional race today with some stunning overtakes to secure his first podium of the season and bag some solid Championship points.

“But it was very much a day of mixed emotions with Max not finishing,” the Briton reflected. “We think it was an external fuel leak and we need to understand exactly what has caused that failure, so it was a very frustrating race in that respect.

“But we are in this as a team and we will bounce back. We didn’t have the pace of Ferrari today, so congratulations to Charles. It’s a long season ahead and we have the basis of a quick and competitive car, but we need to get on top of these issues quickly and we will keep pushing,” the 48-year-old concluded.